• American Girl Doll Crafter

Behind The Scenes: Creating Molly and Nanea's Rooms


Ever wonder what goes on behind the camera? Curious about the planning takes place before posts are published?

Then you're in the right place! Today, I'll be sharing a few of my tips and tricks for creating doll scenes and rooms, also including a behind-the-scenes look at how I set things up. I'm not a professional (yet), but I by sharing what I've learned during my journey with photography and American Girl, I hope to present you with information that can be used as a helpful guide for when creating your very own doll rooms.

The spotlight for this behind-the-scenes post will be on the most recent scenes I set up- Molly and Nanea's Rooms from the Pen Pal Project. Let's jump right in!


This is the picture seen in my previous blog post. Nanea is posing by her bed while a gentle island breeze drifts through the window...


However, things definitely look different from this angle! 😂 Here's my basic setup for Nanea's Hawaiian Hangout. I chose a small corner in my own room for this space. The walls are poster board, which means there's a likely chance that they may flop over during the photoshoot. To avoid this, I secured the poster board to a large square of card board using some masking tape (which is not very sticky, so the poster board will not damaged upon removing the tape). The tape is seen the photo, but it can easily be edited out in LR or PS. If you do not have those editing programs on hand, double sided tape can be used as well.

Lighting is something I like to experiment for each photoshoot. The first light box is positioned on the left as low as possible. This is my source of light for Nanea's face. The second, taller lightbox is used as "fill light". It fills the darker parts of the room with light, hence the name, "fill light". Depending on the set up, I may adjust the lighting as necessary, however, this is the basic way I position my lights. For closeup shots, I will usually lower the second light box to add a little more light in Nanea's face. These lightboxes were purchased on Amazon, and I highly recommend them.

Remember: light boxes are not an item you must have to get a good photo. One particular reason I enjoy them is that they allow me to shoot on rainy days or later in the evening. Otherwise, windows, bright rooms, or anywhere with natural light makes a great photography studio! On the subject of lighting, the possibilities are endless! Get creative- "play around" with your light source until you are satisfied with the results. 😊


Once again, I used a white wood poster board from Hobby Lobby. (For more details, check the end of this post to find a specific list stating where each item was found.)


Nanea's window adds a unique touch to her room, and it was surprisingly easy to craft! I cut the frame using foam board, and simply attached a tropical scene from online to the back. The curtain rod was made from a dowel rod with wooden beads on the end, and the curtains themselves were sewn using a cheery green fabric.


Not many of our dolls come from a tropical atmosphere, so Nanea's room was a fun change. I think she feels right at home in her new place. 😉 🌺

Now, onto Molly's room! Molly's style is more traditional than Nanea's, making the theme of this room is more classic, Mid-Western American.


My sister collected most of Molly's world when she was little, so it was fun to incorporate original AG items in this room! ❤️


The window is the same one used in Nanea's room, except the background and curtains were switched out for a different look. The posters on the wall were inspired by a few of Molly's hobbies. They aren't very visible in this photograph, but the left and right poster feature Nancy Drew, and the middle one is a Jitterbug Dance Flyer. And of course, this room just wouldn't be complete without Molly's tap shoes! 😉


The trim around the bottom of the walls is a new idea I decided to try. It seems to add a more finished look to the room! 👍


And that concludes my very first Behind-The-Scenes post! I hope you enjoyed seeing what goes on during one of my photoshoots, and how each scene is created. I'm more than happy to answer any questions you may have- feel free to leave a comment below. ❤️

For those who might be wondering where items from the scenes came from, or if you'd like to even make your own doll room, I've created a list with more info.

Molly's Classic Bedroom:

  • Walls, Flooring, and Trim: Scrapbook Poster and foam board from Hobby Lobby

  • Window and Curtains: made by AG Doll Crafter

  • Doll-sized posters: Nancy Drew book covers (used as posters) found online; Jitterbug Poster can be found HERE

  • Bed, Rug and desk, tap shoes, and School Set (retired): American Girl

Nanea's Hawaiian Hangout

  • Walls and Flooring: Hobby Lobby

  • Window and Curtains: made by AG Doll Crafter

  • White bedside table: Hobby Lobby

  • Lamp: Dollar Store

  • Radio, Bed, Rug, and items in crates: American Girl

  • Dog: Sugar the terrier from American Girl

See you soon! 👋

-American Girl Doll Crafter

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